August 30, 2004 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Tensegrity. It didn't originate with Bucky, as often credited - See FAQ. Tetrahedral spaceframe weaving, page 18. And Three strut tensegrity with five magnet spherical gear set, page 21. For your mind-melting Monday pleasure.
posted by yoga (3 comments total)
Hmm, interesting read. Got a few pages into and started to wonder what the practical applications are... Will this help us build stronger/more flexible materials?
posted by PigAlien at 8:36 AM on August 30, 2004

One of the interesting properties of a tensegrity is that it retains its structural integrity no matter how it's oriented. Try doing that with a skyscraper! They're not useful for every application but it's certainly a neat idea.

The first one I ever saw was this one, at the Hirshorn in Washington, DC. It's really just the same three-spar structure, diminishing as the tower rises. I bet it had only been there a couple of years when we first saw it. They used to let you pluck the big cables at the base -- you could see the tiny tensigrity at the top wiggle in response.

This kind of thing is irresistable to my dad; he still dabbles with tensigrity structures.

But these days my favorite tensigrity is a kite.
posted by coelecanth at 9:40 AM on August 30, 2004

Carlos Castaneda had few words to say about Tensegrity
posted by jackspace at 9:49 AM on August 30, 2004

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